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  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
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    11
    I've been reading how more people are using a hosts file to block certain domains from loading on the browser. These annoying

    domains include qksrv.net (Commission Junction), linksynergy (Linkshare), and other banner servers. With these domains

    blocked, not even an impression tracking pixel, coded banner or cookie will be allowed into the browser to credit your sale.

    Some people aren't even aware their host file has been altered, since some cookie and ad blockers work this way.

    Is there a way to detect if your affiliate tracking domain is blocked, or otherwise not loading? Can we check to see if the

    impression tracking pixel is in the cache? Can we attempt to download a graphic from the front page of Commission Junction,

    for instance, and if it is not loading redirect the page?

    I haven't been able to find one technique to counter a hosts file block. I don't want to get around it, I just want to tell

    people who block or interfere with my business operations to go shop somewhere else.

  2. #2
    I like traffic lights
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Southern hemisphere - away from Fukushima
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    2,936
    You have no way of knowing, apart from the steady reduction in revenue caused by the spread of these files distributed by Kazaa Lite (and others).

    Realise that even after people stop using or uninstall whatever program that distributed the problem HOSTS files, the file remains there, and all traffic going to CJ and others STOPS DEAD IN ITS TRACKS.

    The only way you know is when the surfer emails you and says "the links on your site are all dead".

    The fix for this problem is in the hands of the affiliate networks that are blocked. It shounds like CJ is working on their fix. I hope it arrives sooner rather than later.

    Jimmy James fan club membership # 3312

  3. #3
    Newbie
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    11
    I think most users appreciate when you show them what has been done to their computer.

    A redirect page with links to Ad-Aware and other resources would be a good start to cleaning up this mess. When enough people have read the messages, they'll think twice before leaving those little boxes checked when installing stuff.

    I just need to know how to tell when I'm being blocked at the server. Ideas?

  4. #4
    I like traffic lights
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
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    Southern hemisphere - away from Fukushima
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    >I just need to know how to tell when I'm being blocked at the server. Ideas?

    YOU CAN'T.

    Nothing ever gets back to the servers. It's all blackholed on the browser's computer.

    Jimmy James fan club membership # 3312

  5. #5
    Newbie
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    11
    Yes, that's if we're being blocked.

    How about if everything is working ok, can we tell that the tracking image has loaded? Is there any indication from our end that we have contact?

    Actually, I don't care if I personally know what's going on in the user's browser. It's the web page that has to sort all this out. I'd like a partial block, to become a total block, or better yet a redirect.

  6. #6
    Newbie
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    11
    Something like this.

    Ok, somebody show me how to make this work!

  7. #7
    Newbie
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    11
    Even better:

    "How do I check if an image file exists?"

    Ok, let's wire this up to a selective redirect. Ideas? I'm no expert with this language.

  8. #8
    I like traffic lights
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Southern hemisphere - away from Fukushima
    Posts
    2,936
    I don't think you understand.

    if qksrv.net is in the HOST files on the surfers computer, NOTHING is going to happen.

    images won't load.

    clicks won't go anywhere.

    Maybe the onerror() javascript function could be used to notify you that the surfer couldn't load the image - maybe by having onerror() try to load an image off your web server instead - that would indicate qksrv.net being blocked rather than a surfer running with images switched off.

    But you're not going to be able to fix anything without getting the user to delete that HOSTS file off their machine.

    All it MIGHT be useful for is gathering statistics on how many users (that have javascript enabled) are unable to get to qksrv.net.

    So that could be handy. I might have a play with that.

    Jimmy James fan club membership # 3312

  9. #9
    I like traffic lights
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Southern hemisphere - away from Fukushima
    Posts
    2,936
    I've come up against a bit of a block wall trying to use javascript to detect when a user can't see qksrv.net

    Not much of a javascript guru - hopefully someone out there can help???

    In the header, I've put:

    function nocj() {
    document.images.nocjroute = new Image();
    document.images.nocjroute.src ="http://example.com/images/nocj.gif";
    }
    // End -->
    </script>

    In one of the qksrv.net img tags on the page, I've added:

    onError="nocj()"

    So theoretically, if their browser can't contact qksrv.net, the javascript error routine is called, and the browser attempts to load the 'nocj.gif" image from my webserver, and I get a log entry recording that someone can't reach qksrv.net


    I've tested it, and the error code, is called, but I can't get the image request to appear in my log file.

    It's probably a simple error. Any suggestions?

    Jimmy James fan club membership # 3312

  10. #10
    Newbie
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    28
    OK - so a user reports that they've uninstalled Kazaa, but that leaves the bad Hosts file around.

    Are there any scripts / advice / websites / something that we can use to get users to edit / replace their Hosts file?

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